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Two bidders to submit offers for Saab; board delays meeting

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Two bidders to submit offers for Saab; board delays meeting

01/07/2010, 3:27 PMBY ANDREW GANZ

Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker and Genii Capital, a private equity firm, reportedly submitted their last-ditch bids to acquire Saab from General Motors earlier today, prompting the Swedish automaker’s board to delay a meeting that would determine if Saab restarts production.

The board will meet tomorrow, instead of today, and will decide then if the automaker’s Trollhattan, Sweden, assembly plant begins building cars again on January 11.

New bidder Genii

Spyker’s well-publicized bid is said to have been joined by another bid from Genii Capital, a private equity firm that bought a stake in Renault’s Formula One team last month. The Luxembourg-based firm confirmed its intentions for a bid in an interview with Bloomberg.

“It is a true opportunity and we’re surprised that more investors haven’t identified this opportunity,” firm spokesman Lars Carlstroem said. Genii “loves brands and Saab is a strong brand on the same level as Porsche and BMW.”

Genii says that it would use the same business plan as Koenigsegg had planned to use, which sets a 2012 profitability target based on a 105,000 unit annual production schedule. Koenigsegg’s bid failed because it was unable to secure financing, not because of its business plan. It is unclear whether the Genii plan would include a 9-1

Production possibilities

Saab has said that it intends to begin production of the all-new 9-5 sedan on Monday, as well as resume production of its 9-3 sedan, although it will ultimately be up to the board as to whether the factory reopens.

“We have customers who have ordered cars, especially the 9-3” model, Saab board member Haakan Danielsson said. “We have the materials and we’ll just go out and build the cars unless we hear differently.”

Danielsson also serves as head of Saab’s engineering union.



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